web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ehud Olmert’

Olmert’s Legacy

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

As former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert heads off to jail for corruption, one tries to consider which event will best define Olmert’s legacy.

His role in destroying Gush Katif? His abject failure in the Lebanon war? The Holyland Towers? Simply being the first Israeli Prime Minister sent to jail?

I think Olmert will best be remembered for his attempt to follow up on his success in destroying Gush Katif, by trying to violently destroy the Jewish town of Amona in 2006.

Amona Photo by: Pierre Terdjman/Flash90

Amona
Photo by: Pierre Terdjman/Flash90

Amona Photo by: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Amona
Photo by: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

What do you think is Olmert’s Legacy?

Numerous Associates Sentenced to Prison with Former PM Ehud Olmert

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Several other associates of former prime minister Ehud Olmert were sentenced to prison Tuesday and fined millions of shekels, along with the ex-politician.

Of 13 top public officials and business leaders who were charged in the affair, 10 were convicted on March 31 of charges of bribery, moral turpitude, money laundering and more.

The guilty sentenced today (Tuesday) were:

Dan Dankner,  former chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s second largest bank. He is currently joint chairman of Israel Salt Industries. Dankner was convicted on charges of offering hundreds of thousands in bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Dankner was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million.

Hillel Cherney, developer of Holyland, the residential complex project that started the nightmare in the first place. He was convicted on 19 charges of corruption and additional charges of breach of trust.  Cherney was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 2 million.

Avigdor Kelner, another developer of Holyland. He was convicted of two charges of corruption. Kelner was sentenced to three years in prison and fined NIS 1 million.

Meir Rabin, a real estate developer. He was charged with mediating the bribery between developers and government officials for Holyland. Rabin was sentenced to five years in prison.

Uri Sheetrit, a former Jerusalem municipal engineer. He was charged with taking bribes. Sheetrit was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Eliezer Simchayoff, a Jerusalem city council member. He was convicted on two counts of bribery and immediately suspended himself following sentencing, pending the outcome of his appeal.  Simchayoff was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 300,000.

All are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court within a few days.

Others convicted but not sentenced today are:

Shmuel Dachner (deceased), before his death in March 2013 represented Holyland real estate developer Hillel Cherney. Dachner turned state’s witness and gave testimony that formed the core of the case against most of those convicted in March.

Shula Zaken, former top aide to Olmert. Zaken was convicted on charges of corruption and was closely associated with nearly everything the former mayor, minister and prime minister did. She made a plea bargain arrangement with the state that has reportedly led to a prison term of 11 months. She will be formally sentenced this coming Thursday, May 15.

Uri Lupolianski, was assistant mayor to then-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert and then succeeded him in the post. He was convicted on charges of offering  bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Lupolianski, in poor health, will be sentenced on June 9.

Fines are to be paid in 10 installments, according to the court decision.

Former PM Ehud Olmert Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to serve six years in prison. The judge also imposed a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000.)  He ordered authorities to seize NIS 500,000 in funds the former prime minister has collected from various sources, including numerous speaking engagements in the United States.

Olmert was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence on September 1, pending appeal.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen handed down the sentence in what has become known as the famed “Holyland trial” after Olmert was convicted on two charges of bribery.

The former prime minister was convicted of taking bribes from contractors who built the Holyland residential complex near the Malha Mall in Jerusalem.

The rezoning and other “adjustments” that came in exchange for bribes continued through the 1990s and into the next decade. These were the years in which Olmert served as mayor of the capital city and minister of industry, trade and infrastructure. Both were pivotal posts from which to smooth the way for the developers of the Holyland project.

Olmert was also recently questioned on suspicion of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television. The allegations are based on recordings given to police by former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, his closest aide, also convicted in the wide-ranging Holyland scandal. Zaken gave police the recordings as part of her plea bargain with the prosecution.

The Holyland trial has dragged on for years, tainting Olmert’s term as prime minister and shadowing the country’s years beyond while bringing down numerous aides and colleagues.

Before pronouncing sentence, the judge pointed out that Olmert is an “intelligent, brilliant people person” and called him an “avid Zionist.” He praised him for donating to bereaved families and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.

But he then sharply reprimanded the former state leader, saying “The crime of bribery pollutes public service, destroys governments…” and called it “one of the worst crimes.”

Rosen said Olmert was guilty of moral turpitude — a term that means the ex-politican will be forced to wait at least seven years before re-entering the field. The judge added that those who take bribes are equivalent to “traitors” in their betrayal of the public trust.

To punish that betrayal, the judge revoked the 10 percent of Olmert’s mayoral pension.

Olmert has been convicted previously charges of corruption. In 2012, he was pronounced guilty of taking bribes in a Jerusalem case.

That trial earned the former mayor and subsequent minister and prime minister a light sentence of community service only. The judge in the case said in his decision that Olmert’s state leadership as prime minister had afforded him the right to leniency.

Not so today, however.  Judge Rosen said in his decision that the higher the post of the public servant, the harsher the punishment for bribery should be.

“Those who belong to the social and economic elite of the nation should not be held to the same standard as those in common society,” Rosen said. He added in explanation that his hands were tied by law in meting out the punishment, and that he was enjoined by those legal guidelines to set a minimum sentence without discretion.

Olmert issued a statement prior to sentencing saying that he was innocent and protesting an expected sentence that included prison time.

“This is a sad day on which a severe and unjust verdict is to be handed down to an innocent man,” Olmert said in his statement.

He has 45 days to appeal in Supreme Court – which he plans to do,, said Olmert spokesperson Amir Dan. He added that he hopes “the real picture will emerge and the verdict will change completely.”

To the eternal shame of the State of Israel, this is the first time in the history of the nation that a prime minister has been convicted of a felony and sent to prison. Likewise, former president Moshe Katsav is currently serving time in prison for having raped and sexually assaulted his female employees.

Olmert will appeal the conviction and sentence in the Supreme Court, spokesperson Amir Dan said. His attorney Eli Zohar is expected to file a request for a stay of sentence in the meantime.

Sentence Imminent for Former PM Olmert

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is about to be sentenced after being convicted on two charges of bribery.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen will bear the burden of pronouncing sentence on the former leader of the State.

The prosecution has asked the judge to sentence Olmert to a minumum term of six years in prison for his crimes. He was acquitted on numerous other charges in other cases that were dropped.

The former prime minister was accused of corruption in connection with taking bribes during the time he served as mayor of Jerusalem and as later as a government minister.

The Holyland real estate trial dragged on for years during his term as prime minister and brought down numerous aides and colleagues.

Kerry Regrets Using ‘A’ Word, Which He Also Claims He Did Not Use

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

After several days of heated debate over Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it not only permits the creation of a Palestinian State, but does so under a timetable set by the United States, made at the Trilateral Commission meeting on Friday, April 25, the State Department issued a statement late on Monday. The statement was an effort to clarify the situation.

What Monday’s statement says is that Kerry loves the Jewish State – everyone who knows him knows that. And not only does Kerry love Israel, but he – unlike those rogues who are now calling on him to resign or be fired or face a phalanx of paddles – has actually worked to help Israel save itself from its elected leader, er, no, save itself from those evil settlers, no, that’s not right, darn it, he’s worked hard to facilitate a Two State Solution in order to secure peace in the region at some point during his tenure.

And although Kerry may have used the words Apartheid State to depict what Israel will become unless it listens to Papa John, he now insists he neither believes nor has he ever said that Israel is now or intends to become an Apartheid State. Despite his claim that he did not use variations of the term, Kerry nevertheless regrets using the word “apartheid” at all in relation to Israel because “it’s a word best left out of the debate” by Americans.

What Kerry did not say that he did not say is that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it follows the path chosen for it by the U.S. and the Europeans. And, of course, he felt compelled to blurt out a pouting, “but they said it!” Kerry specifically referenced that non-dynamic duo of losers Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak and the singular crook and about to be jailbird Ehud Olmert, the three (failed) Israeli politicians who have also suggested, as Kerry admits by omission he did, that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it embraces his preferred Two State Solution on his preferred timetable.

Whether or not Monday’s statement will smooth over the ruffled feathers of those who spoke out against Kerry’s use of the offensive epithet in connection to Israel will provide fodder for tomorrow’s news cycle.

This is the full statement from Secretary Kerry:

On Support for Israel

For more than thirty years in the United States Senate, I didn’t just speak words in support of Israel, I walked the walk when it came time to vote and when it came time to fight. As Secretary of State, I have spent countless hours working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Livni because I believe in the kind of future that Israel not only wants, but Israel deserves. I want to see a two state solution that results in a secure Jewish state and a prosperous Palestinian state, and I’ve actually worked for it.

I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe.

First, Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that without a shred of doubt.

Second, I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution. In the long term, a unitary, binational state cannot be the democratic Jewish state that Israel deserves or the prosperous state with full rights that the Palestinian people deserve. That’s what I said, and it’s also what Prime Minister Netanyahu has said. While Justice Minister Livni, former Prime Ministers Barak and Ohlmert have all invoked the specter of apartheid to underscore the dangers of a unitary state for the future, it is a word best left out of the debate here at home.

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 28, 2014

Smile, Ehud – You’re Convicted!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

We’re all acquainted with the phrases “mitzvah goreres mitzvah” – one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah – and “aveirah goreres aveirah” – one sin leads to another sin. Reflecting on the saga of convicted criminal Ehud Olmert, the phrase that comes to mind is “one lie leads to another lie.”

My recollection of Olmert dates back to 1988, when, as a member of Knesset, he was my guest, live from Israel, on a radio program I presented with radio icon Barry Farber on WMCA in New York. The program was aired prior to the 1988 Israeli elections. The Knesset had just passed a new anti-racist law in order to bar MK Rabbi Meir Kahane as a candidate for re-election.

Reb Meir naturally appealed this decision, and the appeal soon reached the high court for a final verdict.

On the day of final judgment, I used my press card to enter the courtroom and witness this historic moment.

To my shock, the lawyer for the prosecution was none other than Ehud Olmert.

Everyone stood as the panel of judges entered the chamber and took their seats.

The judge in the center lifted his gavel and with a bang announced, “Overruled!” Kahane’s appeal had been dismissed.

The judges rose and left the courtroom. Kahane’s entourage left singing and angrily shouting, and someone lifted Reb Meir on his shoulders.

A moment later, there were only two people left in the courtroom: Attorney Olmert and me. Olmert remained standing, with a smile – or smirk – on his lips, his eyes gazing off into the near future when he expected to be rewarded with a ministry in the newly elected government for his successful efforts against Kahane.

Olmert had essentially lied, portraying a faithful and devoted Jew as a potential Khomeini or even Hitler. He had obviously read Kahane’s writings and highlighted any statements that, if taken out of context, could deceive the court.

I stood and approached him and firmly asked, “You’re smiling, huh? You’re smiling?”

I then pointed to his lips and said, “One day you’ll regret this smile.”

I turned and left, slamming the door.

Two years later, Meir Kahane was assassinated.

Eventually Olmert became mayor of Jerusalem, while Kahane’s Kach movement was outlawed as a terrorist organization.

As mayor, Olmert refused to allow the annual yahrzeit commemoration for Kahane at the Ulam David catering hall, stationing police at the door and on the block.

Then the Second Intifada broke out, and buses and restaurants all over Jerusalem were being blown up by suicide bombers, just as Kahane had predicted when he’d asked, “Do you want Kahane or do you want Arafat?”

After each tragic suicide blast the mayor would speak to the people on camera.

Dov Shurin would always arrive and stand directly behind him.

And as Olmert would began to speak to the media I would shout, “Kahane was right, Olmert, and you know it better than anyone because you were the lawyer against Kahane and you read his books!”

By then the police would be schlepping me away.

I did this over and over again. You could say, using the Hebrew, that I was rodef (hounding) the man. Until one day, after yet another terrorist incident, as Olmert awaited the cameras, I whispered to him, “You want me to stop this redifa? At least allow the yahrzeit commemoration for Kahane, an assassinated former Knesset member!”

A month later, on the 18th day of the Hebrew month Marcheshvan, Olmert finally allowed the gathering at Ulam David.

Soon afterward, Olmert re-entered the Knesset to become Sharon’s right-hand man as they invented the lie called hitnatkut (disengagement) that resulted in the expulsion of more than 8,000 Jews from Gush Katif.

Olmert’s Banana Republic (Boat) Song

Monday, March 31st, 2014

(to the tune of the Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte) based on a Jamaican folk song

EH HOOD, day EH EH HOOD Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home

EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH-ay-ay-HOOD Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home!

They shot all night from ole Hezb’Allah (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home)

And he just played wid his banana (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home)

Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally his corruption (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home)

Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally the corruption (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home)

It’s six K, five K, four K, Graft! (Daylight come and da jail’s his new home)

It’s six K, five K, four K, Graft ! (Daylight come and da jail’s his new home)

A beautiful bunch a’ripe defrauding (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home)

Loot in envelopes purloining (Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home).

EH HOOD, day EH EH HOOD Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home

EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH-ay-ay-HOOD Ehud’s done and da jail’s his new home!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/olmerts-banana-republic-boat-song/2014/03/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: